I fully agree with him! I am nearly obsessed by listening and I will explain to you why. At least I will try to do it here.
From my opinion the language is a SOUND. If it is not, it is not any language. And the sound must be acquired by listening, how else? We start to learn it from the beginning of our life, some say that even before we are born (prenatal stage). I do not know, I cannot confirm, because, to say the truth, I do not remember it. But what I know for sure is that we leaned it exclusively by listening. There is no other way and this way is natural for us as human species. It is natural and it always was. We learn our native language this way. But later, when we are at school or as adults when we try to learn our second language we try to “outsmart” the nature. We already now one language and we can use it to support this process. Yes, why not? Why to invent the wheel again?
Yes, it is logical, BUT there is a big trap here! We tend to have everything quickly, to have instant results (not only in case of language learning) We have a tendency to skip natural phases of language learning process and we want to speak, read and write immediately or very quickly. We even want to analyze the language that we hardly know so far – I mean the focus on GRAMMAR – which we learn (naturally), as far as our native language is concerned, of course - LAST. We somehow forgot that we went to school without any ability to read, write and without any grammar rules in our heads. In spite of it we understood and we were able to speak quite well. Simply, but well enough! (After a lot lot of mistakes we have made without making problems from it and without being punished for it)
But I would return to my assertion that the language is a sound. Maybe some of you will argue that it could be also TEXT and it is not any sound. I think that the text is only symbolic expression of the sound of the language. Our brain will interpret it back to the narual form of the sound in form of thoughts. When I read I “hear” the sound in my head (or mind). So, reading is actually only different kind of listening (for me). Actually especially the reading ALOUD is very helpful. Do it as much as possible.
And what about speaking? It is thinking aloud which produces the SOUND of language. It goes without saying (idiom). And it is the listening too. You can listen what you are saying and your partner in communication also listens. Sometimes, I will tell you maybe something strange, but sometimes when I speak and that speech is quite spontaneous, unprepared, I listen myself with a big interest. In many cases I am quite surprised what I have just said. Mostly pleasantly surprised I can say. And very useful is so call SELF-TALK (aloud). If it is not aloud it is thinking (or not?). Our method BrainSpeakActivator is actually based on this kind of activity. And listening has a big significance here too! Actually it will improve your listening as well speaking.
But you could say that writing is not definitely about any sound. So, I see it as a process of a text creation. And the text is a symbolic representation of language, the sound. Similar to reading. It could be also seen as “speaking on paper”. It is based on sound of language and it is produced back by reverse process of reading. So, isn't it in essence the sound? From my point of view, it is.
The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz is says: “Be skeptical but learn to LISTEN”. So, be skeptical. I do not say that you should believe me or agree with me. Just think of it. Listen to your thoughts (and do it in English if possible:-)
Here you can see an interesting video concerning the listening skill